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Become a Music Teacher in New Jersey

As you think about your teaching career in music, check out the requirements for New Jersey, including the type of degree you should earn, what exams you'll need to pass at the end of your education program, and what types of certification you need to earn.

Career Information for Music Teachers in New Jersey

Music teachers may direct marching bands, concert orchestras, or instruct students in classrooms when teaching about music history. You'll need a bachelor's degree in music education and a passing grade on Praxis exams in the subject to teach music in New Jersey.

Education/Experience RequiredBachelor's degree in music education, teacher preparation program
Exams RequiredBasic skills assessment; Praxis Music Content exam
Certificate ValidityCertificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing issued after completing exams and teacher education program; no extension required in New Jersey
Certificate ExtensionStandard Certificate issued after finishing two years of training in the Provisional Teacher Program (PTP)
Average New Jersey Salary (2018)$76,390 for high school, $72,290 for middle school, and $70,660 for elementary school teachers*
National Job Growth (2016-2026)8% for middle and high school, 7% for kindergarten and elementary school teachers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

When you take a position as a music teacher, you could have several different responsibilities. You might introduce students to a variety of musical instruments, including the recorder or piano, or teach them some of the fundamentals of singing. You could also lead a marching band during halftime shows or conduct the orchestra at a winter concert. You will also have some administrative duties, like scheduling performances and ensuring that your band students' schedules don't conflict with any other events during or after school. Throughout the year, you can utilize lesson plans and make adjustments when your school has to close due to weather or other events.

Education and Training Requirements

To teach music in New Jersey public schools, you'll need to earn a bachelor's degree that combines music education with a certification program. You can obtain both of these with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. You might be able to find tracks in classical and jazz music if you have a preference. You'll devote time to various subjects to round out your education, including psychology and a foreign language, while also dedicating your time to music theory and studio performances. Before you graduate, you will complete a student teaching practicum, giving you the chance to experience the classroom environment from the teacher's perspective before you start your career.

Exam Requirements

Music teachers in New Jersey are required to pass the Praxis Music: Content Knowledge exam. This computer-based test is divided into listening and non-listening sections, which will test your knowledge of music history, theory, and performance. You'll have a total of two hours to finish the entire test, with 85 minutes allowed for the written questions in the second section. If you haven't taken the ACT or SAT to fulfill the basic skills assessment requirement before you apply for certification, you can also take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test. This exam contains one section for math, one for reading, and another for writing; you can take all of these at once, or make separate appointments for each section.

Certificate Requirements

After completing your degree and passing your exams, you can obtain a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing. This qualifies you to enter the Provisional Teacher Process, entering the New Jersey public education system as a full-time teacher. Your performance in the classroom will be evaluated by the education department for two years. After getting a positive recommendation from your supervisors, you can obtain a Standard Certificate, the highest credential you can hold as a teacher in the Garden State. You won't have to worry about renewal requirements for this title, which lasts for as long as you continue teaching.